Curriculum – Early Years Foundation Stage
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child, and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.
In 2012 the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop.
It sets out:
- The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
- Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities, and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing
Ensuring my child’s safety
Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a nursery, how many children a childminder can look after, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.
You can find out about the quality of your child’s nursery and other early years providers in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government’s official inspection body for early years, Ofsted,has to say about it. You can find this information atwww.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report
How my child will be learning
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
If you’re looking for new ideas for things to do then find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Many offer ‘messy play’ activities which you and your child can join in with, and many of the activities they provide are free. Staff can also give you advice about the kinds of books or other activities your child might enjoy at different ages.
Your child will have a Keyworker, a member of staff who will be allocated to you, someone who is that constant for your child and can develop an in depth understanding of the needs of your child. You will be informed of who the keyworker is and we encourage you to regularly keep them informed of what is happening in your child’s life at home.
All children are individuals and take different amounts of time to settle; we will support them to attend as many sessions as needed to ensure they feel safe and secure. We want to work with you as parents to make sure you and your child are happy and want to make this transition to be as easy and smooth for you both.
We have a settling in sheet which we ask you to complete so as staff we are aware of interests, likes, family composition- this way we can understand your child and their family and show an active interest in your child life. We can talk to them about their siblings, what animals they have and even their favourite foods. We offer a home visit to all parents so we can talk about your child’s setting in and individual needs.
Staff record your child’s achievement’s through weekly observation which feed into a Learning Journal. We set medium term targets around your child’s individual needs and plan experiences and activities to extend their knowledge and understanding and teach them new skills as they develop as individuals.
We plan the What next? For your child and this feeds into our weekly planning for the activities and experience’s we offer for the children. We focus on specific themes around the year, but child initiated play is integral to your children’s development and we ensure their needs and views are taken into account with any planning we do within the setting.
Every six weeks we complete a Unique Child Summery which is sent home for you to view and comment on. This feeds into the next ½ term of planning and then at the end of the term your child’s learning journey will be sent home so you can see all the activities and achievement’s your child has made. All parents and carers will then be invited in towards the end of term to meet 1:1 with your keyworker to review your child’s progress and discuss any areas relevant at that time.
Progress check at 2 years old
10 key facts about the two-year-old progress check
1. The progress check at two years is a statutory requirement
In September 2012, the revised framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) became statutory for providers of early education and childcare in England. One of the major changes to the framework was the introduction of a progress check at the age of two. This check aims to give a clear, all-round picture of the child.
2. The check should inform parents and carers of their child’s progress
The EYFS requires that parents and carers must be provided with a short written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas of learning and development in the EYFS: Physical development, Communication and language, and Personal, social and emotional development. Practitioners should decide what the written summary should include in addition to the prime areas, reflecting the development level and needs of the individual child. The summary must identify the child’s strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected.
3. The check should enable earlier identification of development needs
If significant concerns emerge from the progress check, or any special needs or disability have been identified, the information should be used to ensure that any necessary additional support can be put in place as early as possible.
4. A set of principles guide the check
The progress check should provide a clear and holistic picture of the child based on several key principles:
- practitioners’ knowledge of the child
- continuing assessment information gathered over time
- observations based on what the child can do consistently and independently
- children’s participation in their own learning and development
- the views of other practitioners and professionals who know the child well
- the views and information gathered from parents.
5. There is no set format for the progress check
The EYFS framework does not require the progress check to be completed in a prescribed or standard format.
6. The check is conducted by someone familiar with the child
The check should be completed by a practitioner who knows the child well and works directly with the child in the setting. This should normally be the child’s key person. The person completing the check will be responsible for completing the progress check report for the child’s parents.
7. The timing of the check should be appropriate
The progress check should be carried out when a child is aged between two and three years. Several factors may determine the timing of the check, including:
- the child’s entry point to the setting
- individual children’s and families’ needs
- parental preferences
- the child’s pattern of attendance.
If a child moves settings between the ages of two and three, it is expected that the progress check will be carried out in the setting where the child has spent the most time. This would also apply to the check for children who attend more than one setting.
8. Parents and carers are involved in the progress check
The starting point for the two-year-old progress check should be an acknowledgement that parents are their child’s prime educators and know their child best. This approach should underpin the work of the setting and, in particular, the progress check. Continual sharing of two-way observations will lead to improvements in social, emotional and cognitive outcomes for children. Shared learning and development opportunities in the setting and in the home environment will help to move the child forward and support parents in extending their child’s learning at home.
9. The voice of the child must be heard in the progress check
The voice of the child must be listened to when carrying out the progress check. Children enjoy, and can be good at, thinking about and assessing their own learning from a very young age. They can play a part in assessing their progress, identifying what they have enjoyed doing and what they have found difficult. Skilful practitioners will understand the many ways in which young children express themselves, such as gesture, stance, posture and signing, as well as in words.
10. Share the check with other professionals
The progress check should take into account other practitioners and, where relevant, other professionals working with the child to gain a full picture of the child’s learning and development.
The timing of the check should be discussed and agreed with parents in time to inform the Healthy Child Programme health and development review whenever possible. Health visitors are then expected to take account of information from the progress check to ensure that they can identify children’s needs accurately and fully at the health review.
Providers must have the consent of parents or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals.
When your child is 5 years
At the end of the EYFS- in the summer term of the reception year in school- the teachers complete an assessment which is known as the EYFS profile. This is based on that they and the other staff caring for your child have observed over a period of time. This information is shared with the teacher your child will have in their next school year. The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his/ her EYFS profile.